Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)
"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries. What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."
Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002
"No petit bourgeois politics"
Saddam Hussein and his ideologists sought to fuse a connection between the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations in Iraq to Arab nationalism by claiming that the Babylonians and ancient Assyrians are the ancestors of the Arabs. Thus, Saddam Hussein and his supporters claim that there is no conflict between Mesopotamian heritage and Arab nationalism. Saddam Hussein based his political views and ideology upon the views of Michel Aflaq, Ba'athism's key founder. Saddam was also an avid reader of topics on moral and material forces in international politics. His government was critical of orthodox Marxism, opposing the orthodox Marxist concepts of class conflict, the dictatorship of the proletariat and atheism; it opposed Marxism–Leninism's claim that non-Marxist–Leninist parties are automatically bourgeois in nature, claiming that the Ba'ath Party was a popular revolutionary movement and the people rejected petit bourgeois politics. (Wikipedia info)
"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003
A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.
"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
Israel needs to stop being an ideology and start being a nation. A nation of all of its citizens, all with equal national, civil and religious rights.
After 70 years, only partial justice and restoration is possible for the Palestinian people. Whatever constitutional arrangements are arrived at, equality should be the guiding principle at work.
As for Zionism let’s ditch it and move on. 'It’s time to place it in a glass cabinet and put it in a museum in a room marked: ‘Dead Ends & False Messiahs’.
There is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.”
"The practices under which Jesus was raised in Galilee were anathema to Judaic orthodoxy. One might discern the seedbed of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus within “Galilee of the Gentiles” and why his teachings were regarded with outrage by the Pharisaic priesthood. One can also discern why there has been such a hatred of Christianity and Jesus in the rabbinical teachings of the Talmud and elsewhere.
The phenomenon of such an oddity as “Christian Zionism” is for Zionists and the Orthodox rabbinate (which should not be confounded with Reform Judaism) nothing more than the equivalent of a “shabbez goy,” a Gentile hired by Orthodox Jews to undertake menial tasks on the Sabbath. “Judaeo-Christianity” only exists in the minds of craven Gentiles who embrace delusional creeds, or who wish to further their careers by making the correct noises to the right people.
(Kerry R Bolton, Foreign Policy Journal, May 29, 2018)
Choseness is what binds Zionists together.
To be chosen is to see oneself as an exceptional creation. It entails blindness to otherness. It is a form of impunity. To be chosen often involves a near or total lack of empathy. Such lack is often defined in terms of acute narcissism and psychopathy....
I know well that Zionism was born to emancipate Diaspora Jews from their exceptionalist cultural traits and to make them ‘people like all other people.’
Like an early Zionist, I would have liked to see Jews liberate themselves from the choseness prison, but I accept that such a shift can not occur in the form of a collective or political movement. The escape from choseness to the ordinary must be an individual struggle, a surrender to self-contempt that eventually matures into a genuine search for peace and harmony with the universe, with the soil and with one’s neighbours. (Gilad Atzmon, 24-6-2019)
"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...." "For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."
About political holism
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.
Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance. At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)
Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu
"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
"We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World.
When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity." (Ubuntu info)
Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon spoke Sunday at the AIPAC conference amid the backdrop of election campaigns in Israel and the US.
In his speech,Danon addressed the words of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who asserted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a "racist" and also had announced that he would not attend the AIPAC conference because it provides a platform for "leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights." "We don't want Sanders at AIPAC. We don't want him in Israel.
Anyone who calls our prime minister a 'racist' is either a liar, an ignorant fool, or both,”Danon said.
Danon revealed that the U.S. administration is likely to take action against those who cooperate with the UN Black List recently published by the "Human Rights Council". "This is further proof of the solidity of the U.S.-Israel relationship and the peoples' alliance," Danon said.
Danny Danon, UN 2019: Read the Bible, God is our God
Dear Brothers and Sisters, partners who have the right to vote in this fateful election, brave and idealistic Jews who dwell in the Land of Israel, only you can save Medinat Yisrael from the Smoloni (leftist) virus which, like a Trojan horse, threatens our country from within.
Don’t give in to hopelessness and despair. Vote! Vote for the right way of the Right. Make you voice heard! Voting is the only way we can save Israel from the Smolonivirus that is eating away at our beloved Holy Land, and at all the values we cherish.
This carnivorous virus is destroying our ranks through assimilation. It has poisoned the minds of the weak ones amongst us, those who have fallen away from the Torah, just as Amalek killed the weak ones of Dan in the wilderness, those weak in faith whom the Cloud of Glory spit out lest their virus infect the whole Israelite camp. The danger is great. The Smolonivirus has spread everywhere, lurking in our halls of justice, in the corridors of academia, in the Knesset, and throughout the media. It has infiltrated our homes and our schools. It has poisoned the minds of educators and Rabbis of ultra-liberal belief. Go out and vote. Vote Right. To weaken the epidemic threatening our Holy Nation – don’t hide at home. Use your privilege to vote and vote Right!
Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook - one of the fathers of 'Religious Zionism'
Attention to all you college kids out there so starry-eyed for Bernie – are you serious?
But you’re young. Far and wide you’ve been educated by Liberal pro-BDS professors, so you’re not expected to know too much, except that the two most reliable beacons of tolerance and liberty, the United States and Israel, are on the wrong side of history.
Pure brainwashing, but you will grow up. There is no excuse however for people already grown up who still cheer for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
You really think socialism is okay? Let’s be clear. There is no difference between socialists, liberals and progressives. They are all Communists, or shades of the same mentality...
Sanders: “Every great religion in the world — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism — essentially comes down to: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ (The Golden Rule)
And that I have believed in my whole life — I believed it when I was a 22-year-old kid getting arrested in Chicago fighting segregation — I’ve believed it in my whole life.”
Benghazi-based Libyan gov’t
sends first official delegation to Syria
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Benghazi-based Libyan government, Abdul-Rahman Al-Ahiresh, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdul-Hadi Al-Hawaij, arrived in the Syrian capital on Sunday to discuss cooperation between the two countries in countering Turkish moves and combating terrorism.
INFO:: Libya is basically split in two, with two claims to legitimacy: A parliament in the east, supported by General Khalifa Haftar, has its own army. In the west is the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which is not able to extend its authority beyond a few neighborhoods in the capital, Tripoli. It’s at the mercy of militias that have carved up [Tripoli] into warring fiefdoms.
The prime minister of Libya's eastern interim government, Abdullah al-Thani, confirmed on october 16, 2019, that the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) doesn't recognize the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem on Sunday received an official Libyan delegation co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Abdul-Rahman al-Ahiresh and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister at the Libyan Government, Abdul-Hadi al-Hawaij.
Talks during the meeting dealt with the bilateral relations between the two countries and means to reactivate them in different domains in a way that meets the aspirations of the two brotherly peoples and the historic relations binding them, and ensures the continued coordination for facing the similar pressures and challenges that target them, on top the Turkish outrageous aggression against the sovereignty of both countries and their independence and the foreign interference in their internal affairs.
The Foreign and Expatriates Minister underlined the great importance paid by Syria to its relations with the brothers in Libya due to the special status of this relation according to the Syrians.
He affirmed that the circumstances and challenges facing the two countries prove today more than ever that these relations should be in their best status in order to face the foreign ambitions, on top of which in the current time, the Turkish aggression on both the brotherly countries and what it poses of threat against their sovereignty and against the Pan-Arab security.
Al-Moallem underlined the importance of coordination between the two countries in the field of combating terrorism in a way that serves the national and Pan-Arab interests of both countries.
The Libyan delegation reviewed the latest developments of the situations in Libya, particularly the Turkish ambitions there...
While the United Kingdom has not been present on the ground since 2018, journalist Ian Cobain has just published official British documents in the Middle East Eye that shed light on how London massively intoxicated bona fide journalists and then withdrew ...
It is important to remember that the British were not pursuing the same objective at all as their US ally. London hoped to regain its influence from the colonial era (as did Paris). The United Kingdom did not believe that the United States intended to destroy the state structures of the broader Middle East as a whole (Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy).
arour: father of the syrian revolution
Their propaganda was therefore designed to create 'New Syria' around the Muslim Brotherhood and not to divide it as the CIA wanted and still wants.
Westerners had already been convinced of revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. It was therefore easier to sell them a fourth field of operations.
London wanted to provoke a change in the population’s attitude in favour of the "moderates" in the face of the "extremists". Tony Blair, during the elaboration of the "Arab Spring" plan, had stated that His Majesty’s administration should consider as allies the "moderately anti-imperialist" leaders such as the Muslim Brotherhood, while the opponents were the "anti-imperialist extremists" such as the nationalist regime of the Syrian Baath.
Mousa al-Omar, a Syrian opposition newscaster for al-Ghad TV (Tomorrow TV) broadcasting from London, explains briefly how the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) became strong in Syria and shoots down idiotic conspiracy theories made by some in the Syrian opposition that ISIL is connected to Syrian or Iranian intelligence services.
He also states that there's no such thing as the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) in Syria anymore. He confirms that all the fighting rebel forces on the ground are, in fact, Islamist brigades...:
The truth of the FSA is a big lie, i.e. the word "Free Syrian Army". There's no such thing called FSA anymore. They're all Islamist brigades. (Source: al-Ghad TV)
DAMASCUS – Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad received on Monday a delegation from the [Benghazi based] Libyan government.. Al-Assad and the Libyan government delegation stressed that what is happening in Syria and Libya is the same and that the war against terrorism is not only a battle for the two countries, especially as it will determine the fate of the region in facing projects that some countries are trying to impose on them through its tools, especially the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime whose policies based on the use of terrorism to achieve political interests is the primary factor in destabilizing the region as a whole.
Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS), thanked the United Nations Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé for having the courage to resign and for all efforts he had exerted for Libya.
In a press release published on his official Facebook page, Dr Aref Ali Nayed said: “I hope Salamé will be a role model in resigning for Fayez Sarraj who has ruled us in the name of a civil state for more than four years with neither election nor confidence granted from the House of Representatives.”
Nayed said that the correct and proper implementation of the Berlin Conference decisions is represented in Libyan-led political forums, particularly the recent Tarhouna Tribal Forum and the Bani Walid Forum.
He continued: “The real and proper implementation of the Berlin decisions is that the presidency of the elected, and the only legitimate House of Representatives declare a state of emergency, which is already in effect due to this Turkish terrorist invasion and the collapse of the Geneva talks—and form an emergency government whose tasks are limited to only four.”
According to Nayed, the four tasks are as follows: “Confining the conflict to the war on terrorism and its supporters, defeating the Turkish terrorist invasion, opening channels of negotiations and cooperation with everyone who is dedicated to fighting against terrorism and its sponsors, and achieving a unified professional Libyan security and military structure."
A shocking pro-Daesh video aired by an official Turkish state news agency has left several social media users and terror watch groups in disbelief.
In a number of posts on its official Arabic social media accounts, the state-owned Anadolu news agency described ISIS fighters as the “moderate faction of the Syrian opposition.” All posts have been now deleted, however Arab News managed to obtain screen shots of them prior to their removal.
The main video in question shows a number of soldiers wearing the ISIS insignia, and was published under the title “Moderate Opposition Retook The Strategically Important Saraqib Town in Idlib” before ultimately being unpublished later on. The news agency then resorted to reposting the same story but without the controversial clip.
Turkey’s questionable actions in Syria and towards ISIS have long raised serious questions among its allies, let alone its critics.
Last December, French President Emmanuel Macron accused Turkey of working with Islamic State proxies and said Ankara’s ambiguity toward the group was detrimental to its NATO allies fighting in Syria and Iraq.
“I think any ambiguity with Turkey vis-a-vis these groups is detrimental to everybody for the situation on the ground,” Macron said. “The number one (priority) is not to be ambiguous with these groups, which is why we started to discuss our relations with Turkey.”
A Turkish party leader on Tuesday called on Russia, a close ally of the Syrian regime, to compensate Ankara for last week's attack on Turkish soldiers in Idlib.
Speaking to a parliamentary group of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the capital Ankara, Devlet Bahceli said: "Russia should review its tyrannical politics and abide by the Astana and Sochi principles."
Bahceli said that Russia should support Turkey in forming an 18-21-mile security zone along the Syrian border.
Bahceli said Turkey should never make concessions to its rightful policy in Syria.
"The existence of Russia and Iran in Syria is illegitimate and it is, at the same time, absolutely against the international law," Bahceli said. The MHP is in an alliance with Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
Wikipedia info: The Nationalist Movement Party is a Turkish far-right ultraconservative political party that adheres to Turkish ultranationalism and Euroscepticism.
The party was formed in 1969 by former colonel Alparslan Türkeş. The party mainly followed a Pan-Turkist and nationalist political agenda throughout the latter half of the 20th century, but later moderated its views.. The party's youth wing is the Gray Wolves organization, which is also known as the "Nationalist Hearths". They are commonly described as ultranationalist and/or neo-fascist.
With some 90 percent percent of ballots tallied, Likud held 29.35% of the votes, equal to around 36 Knesset seats, which could represent the party’s strongest ever showing as Israelis looked to end a deadlock that has left the country without a fully functioning government for over a year. Top rival Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party was trailing with 26.34% of the votes, representing some 32 seats, which would be the relatively new faction’s worst showing in three tries.
The non-final tallies gave ultra-Orthodox Shas and UTJ ten and seven seats, respectively, while religious right-wing Yamina was sitting on about six seats, placing the right-wing bloc on 59 seats, two seats short of a 61-seat majority.
In the opposition, the Arab-led Joint List was predicted to garner around 15 seats, while the Labor-Gesher-Meretz alliance was getting seven. Yisrael Beytenu had enough votes for seven seats.
Speaking in Tel Aviv early Tuesday morning, Netanyahu claimed a “massive victory.”
“We stood against vast forces. They already eulogized us. Our opponents said the Netanyahu era is over. But together we flipped the script.... ”
The vote was largely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, who will go on trial later this month for bribery, fraud and breach of trust but is thought to be seeking support for a legislative mechanism to grant him immunity.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Monday's election "the biggest win of my life" in his victory speech at Expo Tel Aviv.
He added "we plowed the country from north to south. There is nothing like the citizens of Israel. Israeli citizens trust us because they know that we have brought the best decade in Israeli history." Netanyahu was greeted by cheers calling him "Bibi, king of Israel."
"The victory is even sweeter, because it was against all odds and we were eulogized," he told the crowd. "We turned the lemons into lemonade."
In the speech, Netanyahu promised to eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat and bring about peace with moderate Arab countries.
He also noted he intends to pursue further economic reforms, in addition to a proposed defense pact with the United States.
The prime minister also spoke of his most touted policy proposal, delivering the annexation of settlements in the West Bank.
The crowd shouted at Netanyahu not to form a unity government with Blue and White. He did not respond to them but said he would form a nationalist government.
Final results show Likud with 36 seats, Netanyahu bloc short of majority with 58. Likud gains 235,554 more votes than in last election, confirmed as largest party ahead of Blue and White with 33 seats. Times of Israel, 5 March 2020
Liberman: We will do everything to prevent fourth elections
Lieberman 31-8-2019: "If we do not wake up in time,
the State of Israel will turn into a state of religious law and we will pay
a very heavy price for this messianic phenomenon."
Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman says that his party will do everything within its power to prevent the country going to the polls for a fourth time later this year.
Last May, Liberman refused to join a Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led government over disagreements on the ultra-Orthodox military draft law.
Following the September vote, he said he would only join a unity coalition of Likud and Blue and White, but the two parties failed to reach an agreement.
On Friday Liberman said that he will not back any candidate to become prime minister after next week’s elections, unless they meet his basic demands for a liberal Zionist government.
Shadi Abu Shahada, member of the Knesset with the Joint List, blamed Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz for the debacle, saying that Gantz’s Blue and White coalition lost because it had failed to distinguish itself in any important respect from the Likud.
He implied that if all Gantz could offer was a knock-off Likud, it was understandable that Israeli voters decided they might as well go with the real thing. Gantz has been as eager to oppress and expropriate the Palestinians as Netanyahu.
As for the Occupied, stateless Palestinians, they viewed the news of the Likud semi-victory as a harbinger of unadulterated doom. PLO official Saeb Erekat proclaimed the results “the triumph of Apartheid.”
Netanyahu campaigned on stealing much of the Palestinian West Bank from the indigenous Palestinians, and so forever forestalling a Palestinian state.
He was given a green light for these militaristic and expansionist policies, reminiscent of those of Mussolini toward Occupied France and Libya during WW II, by the Kushner Plan for permanent Apartheid.
The obvious support of US president Donald J. Trump for Netanyahu along with American green-lighting of the expropriation and brutalization of the Palestinians, may help explain why Netanyahu did so much better in these elections than in the previous two.
You can be disgusted, you can be fearful, you can even be shocked, but you can’t deny his incredible talent: The [Israeli] people want Netanyahu. The time has come to recognize that fact: Israel is right-wing, hard right.
Racism is politically correct, personal corruption makes no difference, as long as you guarantee the continuation of Jewish supremacy, rule over another nation, arrogance and hatred.
Peace, equality and justice are for the weak. Not for most Israelis. They said it loud and clear on Monday, more decisively than in the two previous election campaigns: Netanyahu is our king. Netanyahu is the king of most Israelis.
And on the opposite side, alas, on the opposite side – nothing. To the left of Netanyahu, absolute emptiness. An arid desert.
Netanyahu deserves praise, but we cannot ignore the fact that opposite him stood an empty gate. An ideological void, a dearth of charisma. There is no left and no center in Israel, only an original right, and a right that is a cheap imitation.
The people preferred the original. In Great Britain, there is a left. Even in the United States, there is still a left – but in Israel, the furthest left is the center, which is also close to inexistent.
Kahol Lavan [Blue and White] leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid earned their defeat. It’s very hard to hide the schadenfreude. That’s what happens when you don’t say anything. When you don’t dare to do anything different, only offer all of the same...
The left-wing Emet list (Labor-Gesher and Meretz) was also sanctioned, and it deserved it just as much.
Meretz was swallowed up by Labor as though it never existed, accepting a former member of ultranationalist party Yisrael Beitenu as one of its leaders – what is this outfit? What was it supposed to be? A nationalist party, a 'pure' party, which also wants to be called leftist? [..]
They didn't dare make clear statements, fearing it would alienate voters. But it turns out the electorate would actually like to hear clear, new, perhaps even subversive things. Give it a shot, try something new!
In his book “Overcoming Zionism,” Joel Kovel writes: Zionism seeks “the restoration of tribalism in the guise of a modern, highly militaralized and aggressive state.
(It) cut Jews off from (their) history and led to a fateful identity of interests with antisemitism (becoming) the only thing that united them. (It) fell into the ways of imperialist expansion and militarism, and showed signs of the fascist malignancy.” (Global Research, 8-2-2009)
Tribalism refers to a group attitude of undeserved pride and superiority based solely on identification with a group.
It is the tendency to look down on other people for no other reason than they don’t belong to the group. Often it includes looking down on members of the group who are not perceived as “native” to it. Tribalism appears when a community closes its ranks around an illusion of superiority and excludes others for the purpose of increasing feelings of superiority.
A tribe invents “badges” or emblems of superiority that to outsiders are totally illusory. Tribes rarely recognize themselves as tribal in this sense; members really do think they are superior to outsiders. Outsiders, however, recognize that the badges of superiority are false—unless they want in. Tribalism always echoes religion: gatherings that mimic worship, a mythos that celebrates past events, martyrs, prophets, relics in shrines, intense loyalty to the group with required expressions of that loyalty, excommunication for those who lack loyalty, etc. The point of tribalism is that this sense of loyalty and echoes of religion, feelings of superiority and rhetoric of exclusion, have nothing to do with truth or ethics.
Of course, only outsiders can see that. Insiders who come to recognize that and attempt to point it out in order to dampen the intensity of group feeling are usually disciplined. If they do not “come around” they are excluded....
Damascus (Syrian Arab Army) and
'Benghazi' (Libyan National Army)
Close relations against a common enemy Mehr News [Iran], 4-3-2020
Currently, the situation of foreign policy and military aggressions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the regional countries is not desirable at all.
1. Erdogan has waged a war against the Syrian government and reports of attacks launched by the Turkish military and its terrorist groups against the Syrian army and villages are released every day.
2. The Turkish military has become involved in military clashes in the Libyan front, especially Tripoli. Erdogan has sent military troops to Libya to support the Government of National Accord against the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar.
Meanwhile, there has been a report that attracted the attention of many analysts who believe that this move is, in fact, the first action carried out by Arabs against Erdogan’s aggression.
Recently, a delegation of the Libyan government in Benghazi (led by Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani) traveled to Syria.
During the trip, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the opening of diplomatic headquarters along with coordinating the stance of Damascus and Benghazi|Tobruk in international circles.
The delegation also met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and held talks on the fight against terrorism and countering Turkish actions. It appears that the focus of these talks is how to respond to Turkish aggression in both countries.
Erdogan's dreams of Syria and Libya appear to be diminishing as Damascus and 'Benghazi' come closer...
4-3-2020: Libyan Foreign Ministry denies appointing ambassador to Syria
The Ministry stated in a statement on its official Facebook page, that the procedures for appointing ambassadors are subject to specific criteria and procedures that go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR), and then it is voted on in HoR.
The Tripoli-based GNA government issued a statement objecting to the illegal handover of its embassy building to the eastern 'Benghazi' Government.
'Benghazi': Abdullah Al-Thani government,
Tobruk based House of Representatives (Aguila Saleh),
Libyan National Army (Khalifa Haftar)
CAIRO – The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, accused Turkey of seeking to make Libya a hub for terrorist organizations and foreign fighters, adding that these Turkish interventions and practices have a very serious impact on Egyptian national security, the security of all neighboring countries and the security of the Sahel and Sahara, and promotes an increase in terrorist operations in these countries.
Shukri stressed that his country rejected any foreign interference in Libya’s affairs, especially the Turkish military intervention that fuels the conflict, prolongs the crisis and negatively affects efforts to restore unity between the Libyan people, restore state institutions, uphold the national interest, achieve stability, and preserve the territorial integrity of Libya.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that Turkey clearly violates the Sochi Agreement reached with the Russian side, and continues to support and arm terrorist organizations in Idleb, noting that the Western allegations and accusations against the Syrian government are false. Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying in a statement Wednesday, that “Western countries and the United Nations never care for the grave violations of Sochi Memorandum of 2018 regarding Idleb, committed by Turkey and the terrorist groups there... (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Turkistani Party and Horas al-Din).”
The statement pointed out that “The West’s fake concerns over the humanitarian situation in the Idleb started only after the Syrian army was forced to launch a military operation in response to a new attack by terrorists in early February...
The statement continued that “the Syrian government has been unfairly accused by the West of alleged “war crimes”, “humanitarian catastrophe”, and “flows of millions of refugees” in Idleb...
The statement stressed that “No one in the West notices the actions of the Turkish side, which, in violation of international law, has deployed a strike force the size of a mechanized division to Syria’s Idleb in order to ‘enforce the Sochi agreements at any cost’, while public threats to destroy all units of the Syrian Army forces and return the M5 highway to terrorist control are viewed by the United States and Europe as "Ankara's legitimate right to defence".
Under the 2018 agreements, also known as the Sochi accords, the Turkish military was given the right to establish a dozen observation posts in the militant-controlled Idlib region and obliged to separate jihadist militias from other armed anti-government groups willing to engage in peace talks with Damascus.
Although it still relies on its stronger rival to operate, the ascendant affiliate has been cementing its presence in Idlib province, attracting other factions to its banner, and potentially setting itself up to lead a future insurgency. In recent weeks, the State Department has formally designated Huras al-Din (Guardians of Religion) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and placed “Rewards for Justice” bounties on three of its leaders.
The group (hereinafter HD) is al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria... Given these developments, it is important to look beyond HD’s ideological differences with HTS and explore what its members are actually doing in northwest Syria, the country’s remaining bastion for jihadist groups. If the Assad regime and its allies decide to make further incursions into Idlib province or retake it entirely, HD could be well placed to take advantage.
By framing such developments as proof that its rivals have failed —the Islamic State in trying to monopolize territory, and HTS in trying to deepen local roots and establish a modus vivendi with Turkey— HD could convince more jihadists to join its ranks and help it lead a future insurgency in north Syria.
Besides military activities, HD is deeply involved in spreading its ideology in different parts of Idlib province.
It has built up a clerical establishment via its Duat al-Tawhid al-Dawai Center, which is led by Abu Usamah al-Shawkani.
The center’s activities focus on Friday sermons, youth lectures, public dawa (outreach) forums, dawa tours, cultural courses, and hospital visits. Members also distribute ideological literature at car checkpoints and hang banners advertising their ideology or events.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come to Moscow on Thursday to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over recent escalations in Syria’s Idlib province.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced after six hours of bilateral talks on 5 March that they have negotiated a preliminary agreement to resolve the ongoing conflict in northwestern Syria.
Here is the list of main points which the two major regional players have agreed upon:
- A ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province will start at 00:01 on 6 March.
- Russia and Turkey will start joint patrols on the M4 highway in Syria. The patrolling will take place from the settlement of Tronba, located 2km west of the strategic town of Saraqib, to the settlement of Ain al Havr.
- A 12-km security corridor for Syria’s Idlib province will be established to the north and to the south of the highway.
“The specific parameters of the functioning of the security corridor will be agreed upon by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Turkish Republic within seven days”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
- Both countries agreed on efforts to prevent further aggravation of the humanitarian situation in Syria.
“No military solution to the crisis in Syria… the crisis should be settled through a political process, led by the Syrians according to UNSC resolution No.2254,” Lavrov said.
The document, signed after the negotiations, underlined that both Moscow and Ankara remained committed to maintaining the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria.
The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as AQAP, has been weakened by the deaths of its leaders at the hands of US drones, ground attacks by Yemeni troops and rivalry with other groups, experts said.
“Al-Qaeda is going through hard times with its leaders’ priority now to hold the group together,” Saleh Al-Baydhani, a Yemeni political analyst, told Arab News.
Al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch was established in 2009 and was responsible for dozens of deadly attacks against army and security targets, that claimed the lives of hundreds of soldiers and civilians.
During its heyday that followed, militants stormed many Yemeni cities, including a large swath of land in the southern province of Abyan in 2011, and in 2015 they stormed the city of Al-Mukalla, Yemen’s fifth largest city and neighboring regions on the Arabian Sea.
But over the last three years, its ability to expand on the ground has diminished, which many analysts attributed to the killing of the group’s leaders and successful military operations. AQAP’s latest blow was the killing of their leader Qassem Al-Raymi in a US drone strike last month.
Analysts argue that the death of Al-Rimi was the last straw that would leave its mark on the group’s ability to regroup for years to come.
“Al-Raymi was the last pillar of Al-Qaeda,” Saeed Obeid Al-Jumahi, a Yemeni terrorism expert, told Al-Arabyia TV. “The other two pillars were Nasser Al-Waheshi and Saeed Al-Shehri who were killed by US drones.”
"The death of AQAP leaders has left a vacuum which crippled the militants’ ability to expand on the ground..."
Al-Qaeda-leader Qasim al-Raymi: On 16 June 2015, following the death of former AQAP Emir and founder Nasir al-Wuhayshi, al-Raymi had been elected by the group's leadership council to succeed Wuhayshi.
On July 9, al-Raymi swore allegiance to al-Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri. He congratulated the recent successes of the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, and the gains made by Army of Conquest coalition in Syria.
They have done it again. The US, Britain and regional allies led by Saudi Arabia have come together to intervene in another country with calamitous results. Instead of achieving their aims, they have produced chaos, ruining the lives of millions of people and creating ideal conditions for salafi-jihadi movements like al-Qaeda and Islamic State.
The latest self-inflicted failure in the “war on terror” is in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Sunni states intervened on one side in a civil war in March 2015.
Their aim was to defeat the Houthis – labelled somewhat inaccurately as Shia and pro-Iranian – who had seized most of the country in alliance with the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who retained the loyalty of much of the Yemeni army.
The Saudi intervention, supported in practice by the US and Britain, has made a bad situation far worse. A year-long campaign of air strikes was supposed to re-impose the rule of former president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi... But the real winners in this war are al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which has taken advantage of the collapse of central government to create its own mini-state.
This now stretches for 340 miles along the south coast of Yemen. AQAP, which the CIA once described as the most dangerous protagonist of “global jihad” in the world, today has an organised administration with its own tax revenues. Unnoticed by the outside world, AQAP has been swiftly expanding its own statelet in Yemen in 2015/16, just as Isis did in western Iraq and eastern Syria in 2013/14...
Syria 2013: Al-Nusra and its leader Abu Mohammad al-Jolani
Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz wrote on Twitter on Sunday that he accepted the conditions set by Avigdor Liberman for his Yisrael Beytenu party to join a future coalition.
In response to Liberman’s post, Gantz tweeted, "Agreed. We must move forward."
Earlier Sunday morning, Liberman wrote a message on his Facebook account titled: "Yisrael Beytenu’s threshold conditions for joining the next coalition."
In his post, Liberman laid out five issues the implementation of which he said was the condition for his party to join the next coalition.
Liberman's first condition is "A minimum income of 70% of the minimum wage in the economy for all pensioners living from income support and old age pension."
His second condition is "Transfer of all authority in the matter of public transportation and the opening of businesses on Shabbat to local government."
The additional conditions are, "The Draft Law in the version approved in first reading in the 20th Knesset," the "Civil Marriage Law," and "conversion by municipal rabbis, such that every municipal rabbi can establish a court and carry out conversions.”
As of September 26, 2019, the Haredi community constituted 10.1% of the Israeli population.
Haredi Israelis have traditionally enjoyed a military draft deferment resulting in de facto exemption from service. The deferment was initially based on an arrangement adopted by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and minister of defense. The goal of the deferral was to prevent the closing of yeshivas in Israel due to their students being drafted into the army.
This objective no longer existed by 1998, when the Supreme Court held that yeshivas were flourishing in Israel, and that there appeared no basis to worry that the draft of yeshiva students, according to any arrangement, would bring about the disappearance of yeshiva institutions.
Major parties in Israel, including Blue and White, Yisrael Beiteinu, and the Democratic Camp, have declared they will introduce bills advocating for marriage freedom.
But the figure who has emerged as the hero in the fight for separation of state and religion is Avigdor Lieberman, that husky right-wing Moldovan and leader of Yisrael Beiteinu. On the campaign trail, Lieberman has loudly advocated for a liberal, secular government.
According to Rabbi Uri Regev (director of Hiddush), some 600,000 Jewish Israelis are denied a religious wedding ceremony because their Jewishness is in question.. The number includes some 400,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union who were deemed Jewish enough to be granted citizenship in Israel but insufficiently Jewish to be married beneath a chuppah in their new country.
BEIRUT -- As it enters its 10th year, the war in Syria is anything but abating as foreign powers scrap over a ravaged country where human suffering keeps reaching new levels. When protesters in March 2011 demanded regime change, they likely never imagined it would trigger a reaction that has led to the 21st century's biggest war.
Nine years on, Syrian President Bashar Assad remains in power, more than 380,000 people have died, dozens of towns and cities have been razed and half of the country's population displaced....
"It's certainly not a simple international conflict," said Syria researcher Fabrice Balanche.
Nine years ago, protesters inspired by "Arab spring" uprisings demonstrated in the southern region of Daraa and other Syrian cities. Armed opposition started to wrest key areas from government control. Al-Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated jihadist groups also emerged and swept across large parts of the country.
Alarmed by ISIS, Washington intervened in 2014 with air strikes on Syrian soil as the head of a global coalition against the jihadists. A year later, Moscow waded in on Assad's side, a move that would turn the tide of Syria's war.
Iran, with its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and allied Iraqi and Lebanese militias, took an active role in backing the regime in what analysts said was a ploy to secure access to the Mediterranean.
Turkey launched the first of several incursions across its southern border in 2016 and last year seized a 120km long strip of land from Kurdish fighters.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria, which it said mostly target Iranian and Lebanese fighters.
In the latest fighting, a Russia-backed offensive since December on the last major rebel bastion of Idlib forced people to flee towards the closed Turkish border within months. A Russian-Turkish ceasefire holds for now in Idlib, though it is not clear for how long it will stem resisting jihadists and other Turkey-backed rebels.detentions and forced army conscriptions...
"Each person that states there is A-Qaeda will not enter Syria without a trial..."
... and not if the US secretary of State would intervene for him, if she was the world's minister...
I swear you, you won't enter Syria unless you apologize...
I swear by God you will be tried, tried for treason...
I tell you whoever says there is Al-Qaeda in Syria is inciting the regime to kill the innocents...
and wants to justify the criminal acts of the regime...
In satellite channel broadcasts from Saudi Arabia and video clips uploaded onto YouTube, he hurls insults at Mr Al Assad, castigates exiled opposition leaders for failing to do enough for the Syrian people and praises the rebel Free Syrian Army as heroes, urging foreign military action to help their struggle.
Few people outside of Hama, Mr Arour's hometown, seem to have heard of him before the uprising began in March 2011. The cleric fled from Syria to Saudi Arabia following the notorious crushing of a militant Islamist revolt in Hama in 1982.
"Arour is very popular in Idlib, Hama, Deir Ezzor, rural Damascus and to some extent Homs.
In Hama they take the things he says almost as if it came from the Prophet Mohammed himself," said an opposition Sunni cleric, who has been banned from public preaching for his support of the uprising.
"It's often the uneducated who like his style, but the problem is he makes mistakes with his comments and he doesn't understand the politics of what's happening here," the cleric said.
"Had it not been for the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army in Aleppo and Idlib, the Russian-Turkish agreement would not have been reached," Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, the Presidential Political and Media Advisor, stressed...
The Syrian army has liberated an area of more than 2000 square km from terrorism over the past weeks and it has inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists and the Turks, she said in an interview with the Beirut-based "al-Mayadeen" TV on Wednesday.
She added that the agreement is both a political and a military battle to defeat terrorists, liberate the land and create circumstances for the return of the displaced.
Concerning the tension between Europe and Turkey over the refugee crisis, Shaaban said that "Erdogan has lost by blackmailing Europe. He opened Turkey's borders with Europe to refugees despite a Turkish-European agreement." <
"I think the Europeans should know that Erdogan is not the one who has the solution for the migrants, that he is the problem. He is the one who caused all this migration from Syria...
She stressed that the world has become aware that Erdogan's policies pose a threat to international peace and security.
She made it clear that what Erdogan is doing serves Israel's interests as he trades with the Palestinian cause and seeks occupying Syrian lands.
She affirmed that it is not possible to hold a summit meeting between President Al-Assad and Erdogan while Turkey is occupying Syrian areas. She made it clear that Syria welcomes inter-Arab relations, because Arab coordination is a point of strength to all the Arabs.
After watching with bitter feelings the bombing of Baghdad and the destruction of Nimrud, and the barbaric attacks on Aleppo, Palmyra, and Western collusion with some Arabs against Libya and Yemen. After all this, what are we doing?
Would the Arabs continue using the same methods they’ve been using, which proved to be useless, or would they reconsider all the mechanisms that have been followed to date, studying the situation and considering the methods used by their enemies to beat them and trying to use them to respond to these enemies?
After these calamities that plagued our Arab people in their villages and cities, which caused untold pain and unprecedented migration, is it not necessary to reconsider the intellectual system that governed our actions to this day, and the need to replace it with a system that is more useful?
At this stage in the history of our nation, we must have a serious stand, a candid and confident dialogue with history and a re-evaluation of everything we have written and done in the past decades.
But before we can do this, the Arab elites must meet and regain their self-esteem and be at the center of the events, and provide the vision makes a difference in the course of events.
syria - terror - 2012|2013
Hence, regardless of the governmental situation in the various Arab countries, the Arab elites are invited today to communicate and discuss, and find the best ways to hold workshops in more than one place to arrive at the formulation of logical strategies for a better future for all Arabs and to resolve many topics long-debated on the subjects of identity, Arabism, Islam , and citizenship in all our Arab countries, in addition to the issue of youth and migration... What we need is nothing less than an intellectual revolution that rearranges the priorities in our Arab world and eliminates the impurities that hampered our path, and eliminates the sanctity of many traditions that proved futile in the march of progress and prosperity, and establishment of a new culture.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, today we must be on the threshold of a deliberate, real and promising change for our Nation and its people...
The situation in northern Syria recently calmed down, as Moscow and Ankara reached a ceasefire, suspending clashes between Syrian forces on the one side, and Turkish troops and Turkey-backed militants on the other. The Russian military police have arrived at a meeting point in the city of Saraqib in the Syrian province of Idlib, where the first joint patrol of the strategic M4 highway with Turkey is to be launched later on Sunday. Turkish servicemen will join the Russian troops later in the day.
The joint forces were set to patrol the highway from Trumba near Saraqib to the settlement of Ain-al-Havr. However, according to the Russian Defence Ministry, the route had to be shortened because of radical militants' provocations, as the terrorists used civilians as human shields against the patrol.
The patrols are part of an agreement, negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Moscow. The deal stipulated establishing a security corridor that runs six kilometres (3.7 miles) north and south of the M4 highway that connects Latakia to Saraqib.
The 15 MKs of the Joint List (a political alliance of the main Arab-majority political parties in Israel) recommended to President Reuven Rivlin that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz form the government in consultations on Sunday at the President's Residence.
With the endorsement from the entire Joint List, Gantz could end up receiving a majority of 61 MKs if he also gets the backing of Yisrael Beytenu.
Joint List head Ayman Odeh told Rivlin his party was backing Gantz was "out of hatred for Haman," using a term from last week's Purim holiday to describe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "If Gantz or Netanyahu go to a unity government of an emergency government, we will oppose it," Odeh said. "But we will recommend Gantz to form the govt if he tries to form a Center-Left government."
Earlier, the Likud recommended Netanyahu to form a government and Blue and White recommended Gantz.
Rivlin told the Likud representatives that it is the Knesset that really forms the government, in a hint that he could give the mandate to the candidate who obtains a majority. But he also said the reality of the coronavirus needed to be taken into account and therefore, there could be a "temporary arrangement" at first.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said March 4 that his movement supports the sovereignty of the Syrian government over all Syrian territories.
At a press conference in Moscow, Haniyeh said the Syrian regime and people have given nothing but great support to Hamas for many years. “Damascus represents a strategic depth for the Palestinian issue,” Haniyeh said.
“We had been present in Syria for 10 years," he said. "We cannot forget this history. There is no policy or any decision by Hamas to engage in the Syrian issue, and I firmly deny the presence of any fighter or martyrs of Hamas in Idlib, or even in the Syrian revolution.”
He expressed hope that stability and security would return to Syria so it could return to exercising its natural role in the region.
Flashback 2012: Hamas breaks with Damascus
By Kevin Flower, CNN, February 24, 2012
In a change in policy, the leaders of the Syrian-backed Islamic militant group Hamas declared their support for anti-government protesters in Syria. At a rally in the southern city of Khan Younis, senior Palestinian leader Salah al-Bardaweel expressed support for the opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Speaking to the Khan Younis rally by phone, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh praised the revolutions of the Arab Spring and saluted the sacrifices of the Syrian people. Sermons in Gaza mosques focused on Syria, with imams calling for the freedom of the Syrian people. The change comes amid intense political pressure on Hamas from various Arab countries and Turkey to break with the Syrian regime...
Whatever Happened to Al Jazeera?
by RAMZY BAROUD, CounterPunch,14-1-2012
Al Jazeera Arabic channel [..] has failed to maintain its independence, and is growingly covering the upheaval in the Arab world from the narrow political prism of its host country: Qatar.
In Al Jazeera’s early days in the mid and late 1990s, the channel took on taboo subjects and proudly challenged the status quo. This continued with Al Jazeera’s coverage of Afghanistan and the Iraq war, when mainstream western media were disowning their own proclaimed standards of objectivity and treating Iraqis like dispensable beings underserving of even a body count.
In recent months, however, Al Jazeera has begun to change course. It has deviated from its journalistic responsibilities in Libya, and is now completely losing the plot with Syria. The channel is in urgent need to revisit its own code of ethics, and to fulfill its promise of treating its audience “with due respect and address every issue or story with due attention to present a clear, factual and accurate picture.
With the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, relations between Hamas and the Syrian regime deteriorated. Hamas supported the Syrian revolution, and its leaders left Damascus in 2012, though they had been present in Syria since 2001.
Haniyeh’s statements came after he met with several Russian officials in Moscow, mainly Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
During the meetings, Hamas political bureau chief expressed the movement’s readiness to play a role in resolving the conflict in northern Syria.
An official at the Russian Embassy in Ramallah, who asked not to be identified, told Al-Monitor, “Haniyeh’s meeting with the Russian foreign minister touched on several Palestinian issues at home and abroad, including the situation in Syria.” The source indicated that the statements of Hamas leaders toward the Syrian regime are positive and could pave the way for Russia to mediate between the two in the future...
Following the election of a new leadership in 2017, Hamas has pursued a policy of openness and made efforts to repair ties with the Syria-Iran-Hezbollah axis, which deteriorated during the Syrian war, given Hamas' stance on the internal conflict. In recent years, Hamas restored relations with Hezbollah and Iran, which prompted the latter to resume financial and military support in March 2019, after several visits by the new Hamas leadership to Tehran.
Ahmad Abu Amer is a Palestinian writer and journalist. He is co-author of a book on the Gaza blockade for the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Egypt's National Progressive Unionist Party is leading a campaign to fully restore Cairo's diplomatic ties with Damascus and pressure the Arab League to reinstate Syria.
This month, the party held a conference titled “Syria Achieves Victory" at its headquarters. During his speech there, party leader Sayed Abdel-Al affirmed his party stands with Syria in its struggle against terrorist gangs, by which he meant the forces fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Bassam Darwish, Syrian charge d’affaires in Cairo, also gave a speech at the conference, praising the steadfastness of the Syrian regime's army and its commanders for fighting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's forces in the north.... The National Progressive Unionist Party rejected the 2013 decision of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to cut ties with Syria. In recent years, the party has organized a number of public activities and seminars in support of Syria.
In a message addressed to the leaders of the Arab world participating in the March 2019 Arab Summit in Tunisia, the party said, “We accept nothing less than Syria's return to the Arab League. The league must assume its role in relieving the pain and healing the wounds suffered by Syria’s land and people.”
The National Progressive Unionist Party is a socialist political party in Egypt. Originally known as the National Progressive Unionist Organization, it was established as the left-wing faction of the governing Arab Socialist Union (ASU) and became an independent party the ASU's dissolution. The party considers itself a defender of the principles of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. Political program: Rejection of religious extremism. Building the character of the Egyptian citizens. Ending the state monopoly over the media. Raising awareness of environmental issues. Developing the Egyptian industries.
The Arab Socialist Union was founded in Egypt in December 1962 by Gamal Abdel Nasser as the country's sole political party. The ASU grew out of the Free Officers Movement of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. The party's formation was just one part in Nasser's National Charter. The Charter set out an agenda of nationalization, agrarian reform, and constitutional reform, which formed the basis of ASU policy.
Gamal Abdel Nasser was a giant of the twentieth century who curiously is not well-remembered today. He was ahead of his times. The world powers that constantly opposed his attempts to mainstream Egypt into the world while he was alive, may long for his forward-looking pragmatic and logical approach compared to the backward-looking Islamist extremism rife in the region today. ...
Nasser wrote a short personal book titled “Egypt’s Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution” about his ideas and dreams. It reveals a sweeping yet deeply analytical mind and acute observer of human behavior whose periods of disillusionment and exhilaration were intense. First published in 1955, his book was all but ignored by the world.
DOROTHY THOMPSON: Abdul Nasser was looking for constructive ideas, for men ready to subject their personal ambitions, interests, and hatreds to a concentrated and consecrated effort for the renaissance of the nation.
"We needed order but we found nothing behind us but chaos. We needed unity . . . we found dissension. We needed work . . . we found indolence and sloth. . . . Every man we questioned had nothing to recommend except to kill someone else.
Every idea we listened to was nothing but an attack on some other idea. If we had gone along with everything we heard we would have killed off all the people and torn down every idea, and there would have been nothing to do but sit down among the corpses and ruins. ...
"We were deluged with petitions and complaints . . . but most of these cases were no more or less than demands for revenge, as though a revolution had taken place in order to become a weapon in the hand of hatred and vindictiveness."
The Arab League's overwhelming approval of sanctions against Syria has dealt a significant blow to the regional standing of the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Sunday's vote in Cairo marks the first time in the league's 66-year history that it has imposed punitive economic and political sanctions on any of its 22 members. Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, says the move also is unprecedented because of Syria's status within the regional bloc. "This is one of the six founding members of the Arab League, and a Syria which has always championed Pan-Arabism," he says.
For the Arab League, an organization long ridiculed as toothless, it was the second time since the Arab Spring protests began that it had acted against a member country to protect a threatened populace. But while the group invited international military intervention in Libya in March, this time its leaders made clear that sanctions were intended to avoid it...
A coalition of 25 organisations, including civil rights groups, charities and think-tanks, has come together to urge the Trump administration to lift sanctions on Iran to help it fight its coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than a thousand and infected tens of thousands.
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) led an effort to send a letter to President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling for a temporary suspension of sanctions.
The letter calls on the US to suspend all sanctions on Iran, including those on the country's oil and financial sectors, for a period of 120 days, to allow for the country to stave off economic devastation and fight the viral outbreak.
"Easing sanctions is one simple step that can be taken to serve the interests of the Iranian people and public health across the globe," the letter read.
The letter was signed by various organisations, including the liberal Jewish group J Street, think-tank International Crisis Group, Oxfam America and the non-profit Physicians for Social Responsibility.
While Iran has pleaded with the United Nations to urge the US to temporarily lift sanctions, and China and Russia have called on the US to do so as well, Washington has remained obdurate in its "maximum pressure" campaign. Jamal Abdi, president of the NIAC, told Middle East Eye earlier this week that he was not surprised the administration was still "full speed ahead on sanctions", as Iran copes with a pandemic that grows deadlier every day.
"Based on the Trump Administration's own metrics, the massacre being inflicted on Iranians by the Coronavirus is the most stunning victory yet for 'maximum pressure'," Abdi told MEE.
It would be better for Israel to go to a fourth election in under a year and a half in the midst of the coronavirus than for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remain in office, former Shin-Bet chief Yuval Diskin said at an anti-Netanyahu virtual rally held Saturday night.
Diskin begged Blue and White leader Benny Gantz not to enter a unity government in which he would rotate with Netanyahu in the Prime Minister's Office.
"The prospect of Gantz letting Netanyahu go first in a rotation would be embarrassing and shameful." Diskin said. "Don't let Benjamin 2 crown Benjamin 1."
Diskin said Israel deserved to have a prime minister who is not corrupt. He mocked Netanyahu's nightly briefings about the virus. "Every night we get another ridiculous show from the indicted man," Diskin said.
He called on Netanyahu to "free us from being your hostages for the good of the country and the nation."
Nearly 600,000 Israelis tuned in for a virtual protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party’s efforts to shutter the Knesset amid the coronavirus pandemic, in an event streamed over Facebook Live due to restrictions on mass gatherings.
Former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin, ex-Mossad head Efraim Halevy, former Supreme Court vice president Elyakim Rubinstein, TV personality Lucy Aharish, actress Gila Almagor and Movement for Quality Government organization chairman Eliad Shraga addressed the online demonstration.
Over 597,000 people viewed the online-stream and over 65,000 clicked “attending” on the Facebook event...
Addressing those tuning in online, Diskin said, "Thanks to you all, Benny Gantz received the mandate from the president to form the government. But since then, he and his friends have been running to form an emergency unity government headed by the Netanyahu.” “It’s shameful and even disgraceful,” he continued.
Turkey has vowed to neutralise radical elements that impede the Russian-Turkish joint patrols in Syria's Idlib, the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria reported on Monday.
The statement comes as Russia and Turkey conducted a second joint patrol of the M4 Aleppo-Latakia highway in the Idlib Province of northwestern Syria.
According to the statement, the measure, which Ankara pledged to undertake soon, will concern the M4 Aleppo-Latakia highway in a safety corridor, created to ensure traffic along a route running six kilometres north and south of the highway.
The centre added that the latest joint patrol took place earlier in the day on a shortened route due to safety concerns.
On 5 March, the Russian and Turkish presidents held negotiations on the spiralling tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib. Following the meeting, the two sides adopted a joint document, reaffirming their commitment to the Astana format and announcing the introduction of a ceasefire regime. The parties agreed to jointly patrol the crucial M4 highway.
President Bashar al-Assad on Monday received Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and the accompanying delegation.
The two sides discussed the Russian-Turkish agreements reached on March 5th and the constant breaches of them by terrorist organization, focusing on the mechanisms of implementing these agreements which involve keeping terrorists 6 km away from the Aleppo-Lattakia International Highway (M4) in order to reopen it. President al-Assad and Minister Shoygu also discussed the situation in the Syrian al-Jazeera area and the continuing theft of Syrian petroleum and resources by the United States, as well as discussing the steps taken by the Syrian state to restore security and stability across the country, and the Russian leadership’s efforts on the regional and international levels to break the embargo and lift the sanctions and isolation imposed on the Syrian people.
Talks also touched on the cooperation between the establishments of the two countries Ministries of Defense and Armed Forces, with the two sides expressing commitment to continue improving this cooperation.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday that the world should declare a global cease-fire to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” Guterres said in a virtual news conference, Reuters reported. “The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world,” he said.
“The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price,” Guterres added. “They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.”
The U.N. head warned that international conflicts in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Libya have caused the collapse of health care infrastructure, leaving both the victims of war and coronavirus patients in those regions particularly vulnerable.
“End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world,” he reportedly said. “It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.”
The United States should lift sanctions if Washington wants to help Iran to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday, adding that Iran had no intention of accepting Washington's offer of humanitarian assistance.
"American leaders are lying ... If they want to help Iran, all they need to do is to lift sanctions .... Then we can deal with the coronavirus outbreak," Rouhani said in a televised speech.
Iran is the Middle Eastern nation worst hit by coronavirus, with around 1,700 deaths, over 21,000 infected people and one person dying from the virus every 10 minutes, according to the health ministry.
Washington has offered humanitarian assistance to its longtime foe. But the country's top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday rejected the offer.
"U.S. is NOT listening, impeding global fight against #COVID19. The ONLY remedy: DEFY U.S. mass punishment. MORAL & PRAGMATIC imperative," Tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday.
But the United States has sent Iran a blunt message: the spread of the virus will not save it from U.S. sanctions that are choking off its oil revenues and isolating its economy. "You have blocked Iran's oil exports, you have stopped Iran's banking transactions... Your help offer is the biggest lie in the history," Rouhani said.
“We are praying and hoping that the Messiah will arrive before Passover, the time of our redemption. I am sure that the Messiah will come and bring us out as [God] brought us out of Egypt. Soon we will go out in freedom and the Messiah will come and redeem us from all the troubles of the world.”
This remark was made by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman last week, after Yaniv Kalif of the Hebrew-language news website Hamal asked him whether Israelis will be forced to remain under lockdown until the holiday, which begins April 8. Litzman’s ignorant answer was not met with uproar. Is it reasonable for a religious man, a member of the Gur Hasidic community, one of the most conservative Jewish communities in the world, to head the Health Ministry as it faces the biggest crisis Israel has ever known?
It goes without saying that the solution to this crisis will, of necessity, come from science, an area of human knowledge to which Gur Hasidim are less than sympathetic.
The truth is that Litzman’s unfortunate comment flew under the radar because Israel has always followed a twisted hierarchy: Religion is superior to secularism, and religious actions are more important than secular ones. Even in times of crisis, religion rules....
In one of the last speeches he gave before his death, Douglas Adams, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “Last Chance to See,” said:
“Religion ... has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. ... [W]e are used to not challenging religious ideas. ... Yet when you look at it rationally, there is no reason why those ideas shouldn’t be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn’t be.” Now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to challenge religious assumptions and open them up to debate, just as we do with secular activities...
Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, head of the Nir hesder yeshiva in Kiryat Arba, has sharply attacked the conduct of members of the Blue & White Party in recent days, following its rapprochement with the predominantly Arab Joint List. “I can't hold myself back from making a huge outcry at the crimes of the Blue and White party,” Rabbi Waldman told Arutz Sheva.
“It is a terrible crime, a crime of national proportions, to base the formation of a majority government in Israel on cooperation with supporters of terror whose ambition is to destroy the Jewish State,” he said.
“We must all cry out in pain and protest against the Blue and White party and its leaders, a bitter outcry to ‘Gather all the Jews together’ [a phrase from the Scroll of Esther read on Purim, referring to the plans of the wicked Haman to kill all the Jews –ed.]
Everyone has to take part in this bitter outcry against the party that continually proclaims that it has a majority, when it knows that the majority of Jews in this country voted against them...
“I remember how in the year 1974 there was an attempt to form a minority government with the support of the Arabs.
Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook made a huge outcry at this, writing that such a government was not worthy of the name ‘government’ because a majority means a Jewish majority.“He stated then that forming a government that depended on Arab support was a desecration of G-d’s Name.
But what we are seeing now is much worse! They want to establish a government not just with Arabs, but with those who actively promote terror and have made statements in support of murderers.... .
“I can only hope that our leaders – from all sectors, from all walks of life – will come to their senses and reject this distortion of what a Jewish State should be, and return to the true principles of Zionism,” he concluded.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein resigned from his post on Wednesday after being ordered by the High Court of Justice to convene the parliament to hold a vote on his replacement.
Yuli Edelstein, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, found himself under extreme scrutiny after he suspended parliamentary activities, preventing the newly elected legislature from choosing a new speaker.
The suspension of the Knesset was allegedly done to prevent the Blue & White from advancing a bill that would stop any premier with a criminal indictment from continuing to serve.
The move effectively ends any hope of a unity government being formed as Blue & White prepares to replace the speaker with a member of their own party, a condition which the Likud members find unacceptable.
Slamming the Supreme Court, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said: "The Supreme Court of Justice decided that the Knesset Speaker must hold a vote this week to choose a new Knesset Speaker.
The Supreme Court's decision is not based on the how the law is worded, but according to a one-sided and extremist interpretation."
"The Supreme Court's decision is gross and audacious interference on the part of the judicial authority in the affairs of the elected legislative authority. The Supreme Court's decision harms, in an unprecedented fashion, the sovereignty of the nation and the sovereignty of the Knesset. The Supreme Court's decision undermines the basis of Israeli democracy."
Edelstein added: "The Supreme Court's decision is a wrongful and serious decision, which will lead to a dangerous eclipse."
Since the beginning of the White House transition in January, members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet have been gathering for weekly prayer sessions led by Capitol Ministries Pastor Ralph Drollinger.
Ralp Drollinger: “America’s bankrupting entitlement policies stem from bad theology, the theology of Theological Liberalism” – namely, the Social Gospel, which is an “aberrent” and “heretical” theology"...
"Nowhere in Scripture is the Institution of the State in view as it pertains to societal responsibility for the needs of the less fortunate." (Capitol Ministries, 29-8-2016)
Ralph Drollinger, a minister who leads a weekly Bible study group for President Donald Trump’s cabinet, released a new interpretation of the coronavirus pandemic this week, arguing that the crisis represents an act of God’s judgment.
The coronavirus, Drollinger argues in two blog posts and a rambling Bible study guide published in the past few days, is a form of God’s wrath upon nations, but not one as severe as the floods described in the Old Testament or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
“Relative to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, this is not God’s abandonment wrath nor His cataclysmic wrath, rather it is sowing and reaping wrath,” wrote Drollinger.
“A biblically astute evaluation of the situation strongly suggests that America and other countries of the world are reaping what China has sown due to their leaders’ recklessness and lack of candor and transparency.”
Neither does he miss a chance to condemn those who worship the “religion of environmentalism” and express a “proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality.” These individuals, Drollinger argues in “Is God Judging America Today?”, one of the minister’s posts about coronavirus pandemic, have infiltrated “high positions in our government, our educational system, our media and our entertainment industry” and “are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.”
The Drollinger-led Bible study meets every Wednesday morning with members of Trump’s cabinet, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Health Secretary Alex Azar.
Amir Peretz, the most senior member of Knesset, will be assigned as a temporary Knesset speaker in order to hold a vote for a new speaker on Thursday, the High Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday night after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein resigned earlier in the day.
The court convened late Wednesday night to decide what should be done after Edelstein rejected the High Court's demand that he hold a vote for his successor by Wednesday and instead resigned...
"The judges of the High Court of Justice acted with wisdom and determination...," stated attorneys Yuval Yoaz and Doron Barkat, representing the New Contract Association who filed the complaint against Edelstein.
"Hopefully, the lesson is learned and the message regarding the obligation to comply with court rulings will now be a guiding light to elected officials, as it is to all other citizens," added the attorneys.
The 61 MKs in Blue and White leader Benny Gantz's bloc had intended to initiate a vote to elect Blue and White MK Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) as Edelstein's replacement, but it is unclear when that vote will be able to take place. Cohen served as deputy Knesset speaker in the last functional Knesset until the April 2019 election... Blue and White leader Benny Gantz blasted Edelstein's behavior...
Blue and White's number two, MK Yair Lapid, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of "sending Yuli to burn down our democracy." He said MKs on the Right should be condemning Edelstein.
MK Miki Zohar [Likud] responded to the ruling by tweeting that the High Court was "working full time in the service of the left and the media" and called it "another shameful decision."
Wikipedia info: Makhlouf "Miki" Zohar (born 28 March 1980) is an Israeli lawyer and politician. He is currently a member of the Knesset for Likud.
Zohar opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, stating that every member of Likud is against it. He also supports the annexation of the West Bank and cancellation of the Oslo Accords.
Zohar is an advocate for observing Shabbat. He stated in a radio interview for an ultra-Orthodox Jewish station that "Anyone who doesn't believe in God is delusional".
In June 2018, he stated in a radio debate that "the entire Jewish race is the highest human capital, the smartest, the most comprehending".
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has blasted his American counterpart Mike Pompeo for keeping up a “third-rate propaganda” barrage against Tehran even at a time when the world is busy fighting a deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“Even a pandemic won’t stop @SecPompeo from spouting 3rd-rate propaganda," Zarif tweeted on Wednesday after the top US diplomat claimed that the government of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani was “mishandling” the outbreak of the highly-contagious virus called COVID-19.
“One wonders whether he’s Sec of State or Secretary of Hate,” said Zarif, adding that such propaganda will fail to divert attention from his bad reputation as a warmonger and promoter of America’s economic terrorism.
“No amount of trolling will gloss over his infamous warmongering & #EconomicTerrorism; killing innocents & impeding global fight against #COVID19,” wrote Zarif.
Over the past week, calls have been growing on the international stage for the US to lift the illegal sanctions...
Turning a deaf ear to those calls, the US has claimed readiness to aid Iranians, with President Donald Trump saying “all they (Iranians) have to do is ask.”
Tehran has rejected Washington’s offer as meaningless as long as Washington keeps the economic bans in place...
Earlier this week, [Iranian president] Rouhani said the US president “is like someone who has blocked the path to a well and does not allow anybody to approach the clean water... and instead holds up a glass of muddy water and says, ‘I have come to help and I know you are thirsty’.”
“We don’t need the United States’ glass of muddy water,” he noted, stressing that all the Americans have to do is to remove their barriers.
Israel: Another Netanyahu government
Benny Gantz decided to break apart Blue and White
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid responds to his decision
Arutz Sheva, 26/03/2020
What’s being formed today isn’t a unity government. It’s another Netanyahu government...
We formed Blue and White to offer an alternative to the Israeli people. A decent, honest, values-driven centrist party.... We wanted to bring about change, to bring about hope, to start a new path.
Benny Gantz decided today to break apart Blue and White and crawl into Netanyahu’s government. It’s a disappointing decision. What’s being formed today isn’t a unity government and not an emergency government. It’s another Netanyahu government. Benny Gantz surrendered without a fight and crawled into Netanyahu’s government, joined the haredi-extremist bloc.
We ran together because Benny Gantz looked me in the eye and said we would never sit in this bad government. I believed him. Together with us over a million Blue and White voters marched from street to street and from bridge to bridge. Good, honest Israelis. People who serve in the IDF, pay their taxes, obey the law. They feel betrayed today, and justifiably so. Their votes were stolen and given as a gift to Netanyahu.
netanyahu's right wing bloc
We promised not to sit in a coalition of extremists and extortionists.
We said we wouldn’t allow anyone to undermine Israel’s democracy. And on this week of all weeks, in which the attacks on the justice system were at their worst, a prize is given to those who disobey the law. A prize to criminality. You can’t crawl into a government like that and tell us you did it for the good of the country.
We will keep going, just as we did these past years. We will serve the public with determination and faith. We will maintain the vision of the Israeli center. Together with Bogie, together with all our partners, we will fight for our democracy and for our justice system...
We will support any decision that will help the healthcare system. Help put the economy back on track. We’ll keep a watchful eye on this government. We have plans. We have experience. We have a national responsibility. As always, we’ll work for the nation of Israel and the people of Israel. There is a beautiful Hebrew phrase, “The honest path.” Like always, the honest path is the one we’ll take...
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